Photo - John Atherton, Vice President, IT BU, APC by Schneider Electric
2012 has been heralded as a year of opportunity as well as uncertainty, causing many businesses to remain vigilant about the ever evolving landscape. The ICT sector has been earmarked as a key enabler for traditional economies in Malaysia since 1996. As the nation moves towards an intelligent economy, IDC notes that key transformative steps are being taken by the government, and 2012 will witness the emergence of disruptive IT technologies becoming mainstream and playing a critical role in the development of Malaysia.
At Schneider Electric, we see the opportunity to continue to grow our customer base, as there is still a lot of nurturing to be done in the ICT segment, such as high value research, development and innovation activities in ICT segments in micro-electronics, nano-technology, bio-informatics, cyber security, cloud computing and mobile commerce.
Government initiatives over the years have accelerated the adoption of various ICT solutions and implementations. However, there is still room for significant growth within this sector, which should become cogent when SMEs become increasingly aware of the financial and strategic benefits of a correctly aligning their business needs with their IT infrastructure. Businesses should take into consideration future growth and scalability of solutions. This crucial phase is currently in its infancy due to environmental and organisational growth limitations that most young SMEs face.
However, Schneider Electric's persistence in education efforts via Energy University, a free online course which has Data Centre University offered as a curriculum. More direct methods with SMEs are beginning to pay off toward the latter half of the year, as SMEs realise the benefits of bringing their IT and business into better alignment.
With this objective in mind, Schneider Electric's IT infrastructures are Future-driven through the agility of their infrastructure, adapting quickly and easily to ever changing IT, business growth and the IT requirement.
One of the many incentives in the 2013 Budget includes financing for small-medium enterprises which can encourage ICT growth in the SME industry. Therefore our focus would be to work closely with our clients to help them understand the importance of aligning IT solutions with business directives for bottom-line profitability to stay competitive in their respective industries.
This is aligned to what the Malaysian ICT industry association, Pikom, believes that the ICT sector will contribute significantly to strategic growth initiatives such as the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) projects.
It was mentioned in the 2013 budget that SME funding of RM1 billion will be provided under the SME Development Scheme geared to improve SMEs and develop them with innovation and productivity in order to push for an expansion of the SME industry.
With funding like this, SMEs will now have access to finances that enable them to use solutions that will assist in their growth, specifically management software that provides full visibility across end to end IT equipment, such as Schneider Electric's server room solutions that is cost effective, for small business server rooms and network closets.
While some businesses cut back on spending, others would see this as a good time to implement ICT solutions that will help benefit the company such by improving productivity and efficiency, along with cutting down on energy costs. Companies do not realise that as much as 70 percent of budgets can be tied up in managing IT that is outdated, complex and inflexible for business processes, which in turn can be a tremendous burden on companies of all sizes.
A correctly aligned, scalable IT infrastructure implementation can actually generate substantial cost-savings, regardless of organisation type whether manufacturing, services or anything in between. The unique flexibility provided by these solutions will have a healthy effect on any organisation's bottom-line, irrespective of size or growth rate. So there's no time like the present to get started on shifting to be more business-wise.
From a global perspective, the cornerstone of Schneider Electric's sustainable growth strategy has always been to manage the world's energy challenge and understanding how we can help address it. We are committed to providing solutions that deliver energy efficiency, and contribute to the creation of sustainable smart cities.